The Capacity-to-Distract Edition Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The iPhone’s Original UI Designer On Apple’s Greatest Flaws, by Katharine Schwab, Fast Company

Chaudhri left Apple in 2017, after spending almost two decades designing interfaces for the iPod, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV as well as the iPhone, to pursue a still-under-wraps company of his own. I recently sat down with him to talk about his time at Apple, and had the chance to ask him how he views his legacy now that the downsides of smartphones have come into focus. He cited the challenges of working as a designer at a giant corporation, where his personal ethics didn’t always align with decision-making, but also said something else: That he always knew, even when playing with the phone’s earliest prototypes, that one of its greatest flaws would be its capacity to distract and monopolize users’ attention spans–and that Apple purposely didn’t give users enough tools to maintain their control over the device.

Brian Bumbery, Publicist For Metallica, Madonna And Green Day, Joins Apple Music, by Shirley Halperin, Variety

The move comes in the context of a larger transition at Apple Music, as former head Jimmy Iovine recently completed his move to a consulting role this month.


Hands On: Airmail 3.6 For Mac Updated With Fix For Security Issue, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

When you have a lot of emails to work through and perhaps you're also short on time, use Airmail and blast through that inbox with speed and efficiency. Airmail's features for dealing with emails really are that much better and usually that much faster too.

Google Adds iPad Support To Its Video Calling FaceTime Competitor ‘Duo’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Optimization for the iPad comes as part of Google Duo version 39, and is the only change included in that update for iOS users.

Samsung Launches Curved, 34-inch Display With Thunderbolt 3, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

The screen has a 21:9 aspect ratio, 3,440-by-1,440 resolution, and covers 125 percent of the sRGB color gamut with 3,000:1 contrast. Mostly notably though it has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which supplies 85 watts of power, enough for 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros.


Solve Less General Problems, Benjamin Supnik

Don't come up with a general solution that works for your data and other data that your program will literally never see. General solutions are more expensive to develop and probably have down-sides you don't need to pay for.

Managing Up Is An Art, by Alison Green, Slate

To be clear, managing up isn’t about manipulating your boss or managing her perceptions. It’s about working with your boss in a way that will produce the best possible results for the organization, while at the same time decreasing your own stress level—which is to say, making you happier at work. For instance, if you have a busy manager who frequently cancels your weekly meeting, you could say, “I know you’re really busy—but can I talk to your assistant and get 10 minutes on your calendar?” You also might anticipate that she’s likely to cancel your meeting tomorrow and, as a safety measure, grab her for two minutes after today’s staff meeting to ask your most pressing question. Or send her an email telling her how you plan to move forward if you don’t hear from her by the end of the week. The point here is to not get so focused on your boss’s less-than-ideal behaviors that you miss the things that are in your control.

Why Curiosity Matters, by Francesca Gino, Harvard Business Review

In most organizations, leaders and employees alike receive the implicit message that asking questions is an unwanted challenge to authority. They are trained to focus on their work without looking closely at the process or their overall goals. But maintaining a sense of wonder is crucial to creativity and innovation. The most effective leaders look for ways to nurture their employees’ curiosity to fuel learning and discovery.


Fatherhood Through The Lens Of Steve Jobs, by Linda Nielsen, New York Times

Forgiving her father is a gift a daughter gives, not just to her father, but to herself. In choosing not to allow her bitterness about his failings as a father to consume her, a daughter is choosing not to deprive herself of whatever pleasure she can still derive from their relationship. She does not deny the past. But she does not dwell in it. Forgiving does not mean forgetting.

Ms. Brennan-Jobs’s memoir may provide a comforting message for parents who fear that their mistakes and missteps inevitably will lead to irreparable damage — and for daughters who are grappling with their father’s failures as a parent. Adult children can choose to focus on the dearness or the darkness of their childhood relationships with their parents. Ms. Brennan-Jobs chose dearness. Will we?